A six-year-old boy was rescued by an Instagram outdoorsman who was kayaking along the St. Louis River in Duluth last week.
The entire incident was caught on David Jones' GoPro camera on July 5.
Police in Duluth said at about 4:12 p.m., officers went to the 9900 block of Hudson Boulevard near the St. Louis River on a report of a medical call. When they arrived they found out that a six-year-old boy was swimming alone in the river with a life jacket on. He was rescued by Jones, who was fishing nearby when he spotted him.
The boy was seen on video, crying and terrified as Jones approached him.
"I just want to get to my dad," he cried out.
Jones then had the boy grab the side of his kayak as he paddled to shore. According to an Instagram post, Jones said the child had been swimming near his dad's boat before being swept away by the current.
"As I was hooked into what I believe at the time was a sturgeon, I heard this scream that no parent ever wants to hear: the sound was a child screaming for his life as he’s being swept away by the current," Jones posted on Instagram.
"Other than his dad's sailboat hundreds of yards away, I was the only watercraft in eyesight," he added.
The boy's father told police they were sailing on the river and the boy wanted to swim next to the sailboat holding a rope that was attached to the boat. However, at some point, the boy lost a grip on the rope and the wind pushed the sailboat further away.
Due to the wind and the currents of the river, the father told police he was unable to get back to the boy to pick him up, having to beach his boat ashore.
The boy initially told his father he was going to swim back to shore, but the strong current prevented him from doing so.
That's when Jones stepped in.
"Are you gonna be able to make it into shore? Do you need some help?" Jones asks the boy in the video.
FOX 9 reports that Jones is a former police officer and has a background as a behavioral health technician, which helped keep the boy calm as they paddled to shore.
He has more than 13,000 followers on Instagram, where he describes himself as a "Florida boy living his dreams" in Minnesota, regularly sharing videos of himself hunting and fishing.
"I was worried about how cold [the boy] was telling me he felt so I contacted emergency medical services," Jones said on Instagram, adding that he stayed long enough to see the child reunite with his father.
One person seen in the video tells Jones that someone drowned in the same spot last year. FOX 21 reports that a father drowned after attempting to rescue his two kids in the river in June 2021.